1. SHOULD I GET A CREDIT REPORT? Absolutely. When filing a bankruptcy, having a copy of your credit report from all 3 reporting agencies will be essential. We also strongly suggest you obtain a copy of your credit report when in a divorce proceeding as often the other spouse does not know of debts he or she may have incurred as a result of one spouse's actions.
2. WHERE DO I GET A COPY OF MY CREDIT REPORT? You have the right to one free credit report per year under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act of 2003.
There is only one official website: www.annualcreditreport.com. At this website, you can order a copy of all reports compiled by the three major credit reporting agencies which are Equifax, Experian and Trans-Union. This site can also be accessed through a link at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at www.ftc.com. You can also call to get your free credit report toll free at 877-322-8228.
3. CAN I OWN PROPERTY AFTER FILING A BANKRUPTCY? Yes. Many people believe they cannot own anything for a period of time after filing for bankruptcy. This is not true. You can keep your exempt property and anything you obtain after the bankruptcy is filed. However, if you receive an inheritance, a property settlement, or life insurance benefits within 180 days after your bankruptcy, that money or property may have to be paid to your creditors if the property or money is not exempt. You can also keep any property covered by Texas bankruptcy exemptions through the bankruptcy.
4. DOES A CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY ERASE ALL MY DEBTS? Yes, with some exceptions. Bankruptcy will not normally wipe out: (1) money owed for child support or alimony, fines, and some taxes;(2) debts not listed on your bankruptcy petition;(3) loans you got by knowingly giving false information to a creditor, who reasonably relied on it in making you the loan;(4) debts resulting from "willful and malicious" harm;(5) student loans owed to a school or government body, except if:-- the court decides that payment would be an undue hardship;(6) mortgages and other liens which are not paid in the bankruptcy case (but bankruptcy will wipe out your obligation to pay any additional money if the property is sold by the creditor).
5. HOW SOON CAN I GET DIVORCED? The State of Texas requires that your divorce petition be on file no less than 60 days. Therefore, you cannot get divorced in less than 60 days. Sometimes, a divorce proceeding will take much longer for example, if custody or property issues arise and the parties cannot come to an agreement.
6. HOW LONG MUST I LIVE IN TEXAS BEFORE I CAN GET DIVORCED? You are required to reside within the State of Texas for 6 months preceding the filing of your petition and the particular county where filed for the preceding 90 days.
7. CAN WHAT I POST ON FACEBOOK BE USED AGAINST ME? Absolutely! Beware what you or your friends or relatives are posting on facebook that may somehow relate to you, i.e. you are in a picture from a party you went to shown holding a bottle of beer, etc. All postings on facebook are considered "discoverable" evidence, meaning the other side can get a hold of it and use it against you. I recommend that my clients do not make any postings and alert their friends and relatives not to make any postings pertaining to them or their case while litigation is ongoing. Even after, you must be careful because it could easily be used against you in the future.
8. CAN YOU REALLY OBTAIN COPIES OF MY TEXT MESSAGES? Again, the answer to this is - absolutely! Any type of electronic communication whether through email, text messaging or social website postings creates a permanent record which can later be recalled if the proper channels are followed. This includes text messages that tend to show your character in front of a Judge, i.e. you have been cussing your significant other out using extreme obscene language. If presented before a Judge, it will not put you in a favorable light. If in doubt, seek legal advice.